Shopping for skincare and haircare products online can be a toss-up. Since you're not able to swatch it, smell it, touch it or feel it, you can't be sure whether the scent will throw you off, the gel-texture will be too light or the actives may be too strong. With beauty products, one-size-fits-all products don't work, and when you have many concerns that may contradict each other (think acne, but extremely dehydrated skin), finding a product or routine that'll really truly work can be difficult. “What may suit you, may not suit your family member or friend. Inversely, customers come in looking for the same product that their friend loves, because it solved their skin concerns,” says Neha Rawla, senior manager, Forest Essentials. “This may not be the case with another person’s skin because each cell and tissue of a person’s skin reacts differently to different sets of ingredients and textures,” she says.
Finding a product that actually works for you, instead of force-fitting a product into your routine is important. “Actives should be chosen based on concern,” for them to actually work, confirms Dr Kiran Sethi, a Delhi-based dermatologist. “For example, the base you choose for a product is key. When it comes to try skin you want a rich cream with essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, for combination skin you want a lotion, while for oily skin you want a gel,” she says.Creating customised products can be a fun experience
Whether it's a treatment made just for your dry skin, or a mask that works for your frizz and split ends, options for creating a custom tube or bottle is readily available. Since you are a part of the process—filling a form, taking a quiz or having a one-on-one IRL consultant—you may feel more involved in the process of creating your routine, which can improve your likeliness to stick with it.
“The new Customise Your Own Cream feature is a way for consumers to be a part of the formula and design process of what they use and love,” confirms Rawla. “It is an interactive two-way conversation that requires input from the customer in the customisation process to determine specifications, ingredients, and more,” she says. At Forest Essentials, there's a mix of technology and real-life expertise. Consumers can fill in a questionnaire and answer basic questions, and then schedule a call with an R&D expert to actually nail down the specifics. “When people can't go to a dermatologist right now, this is a safe way to amp up their skincare,” says Rawla. “We incorporate ingredients that aren’t found off-the-shelf into our formulas."
Since consumers are more tuned in to what they're using and what works for them, getting to be a part of the process is ideal.Customised beauty is a sustainable option
“As we’re all becoming more switched on to what goes into our beauty products, being a part of the process is the future of the way we buy into them, too,” says Rawla. Buying a moisturiser, serum, essence and oil for your skin, and then a shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, oil and frizz-cream can result in a long drawn out routine that can be expensive, time-consuming and stressful. A 2017 survey showed that an average woman used 16 products on her face, and this is in addition to personal care items like razors, combs and cleansing tools.
Plus, all those bottles, tubes and tubs can be extremely harmful to the environment. According to a study commissioned by Zero Waste Europe, the use of beauty and personal care products produced 142 billion units of packaging in 2018, and now, with single-use products becoming popular during the pandemic, this will only increase. “We want to reduce skincare hoarding by crafting the right product that'll target most concerns,” says Rawla, negating the need for a multi-step routine. Going back to basics, with a cleanse-tone-moisturise regimen is their answer to increasing beauty waste as well as ingredient confusion.It can help fix skincare and haircare issues more efficiently
A few beauty e-commerce websites now offer a quiz you can fill out that takes your hair or skin type, stress level, nutrition in consideration, as well as where you live (to account for humidity and whether you have hard/soft water) to target your concerns. This approach can eke out exactly what you need to fix, reducing the need for damaging your strands or skin by going too fast, too soon.
By tacking on too many products, it can be possible to actually hurt the skincare barrier in the process, worsening issues like eczema or acne. “According to Ayurveda, it is the three energies or doshas that define a person’s individuality, personality, as well as their skin and hair concerns. Therefore, products that work for your doshas are taken in mind too,” says Rawla. “Whatever we apply on our skin goes directly to the blood stream and it can impact the entire system if it doesn’t complement the skin. We combine fresh, highly researched, potent Ayurvedic balancing and natural active ingredients, herbs, infusions and formulas, using traditional techniques to hand mix each individual cream,” she shares.
Since finding products that are both efficient and sustainable will only get more important, customisable beauty products are the way forward. The mission of brands that follow this path will be to return to the consumer-centric roots of buying beauty, where new technology and good customer service is married to create a truly personalised formula.Also read:
The beauty industry is trying to be less wasteful. Here’s what it looks like in India
Skincare SOS: 5 natural ingredients that soothe and heal skin
Want to make your skincare uncomplicated? Ignore these 5 products